The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has very rich and diverse cultural heritage which is built on centuries of old values and traditions. It is so diverse that the same activity and values varies from region to region. Directorate of Culture has the domain to work for the revival, preservation and promotion of KP Cultural Heritage through available international standards such as UNESCO ICH convention of 2003. This virtual exhibition is an effort to showcase multiple elements of KP Cultural heritage to wide public audience from soft platform for easy accessibility and global reach.
Directorate of Culture is enthusiastically perceiving policies and strategies to promote KP Cultural heritage. Being a citizen of the province and responsible member of the society, your feedback is welcome.
Peshawari chappal is a traditional footwear originating from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa region, worn both casually and formally. Chappals are hand made from soft leather and sown into tyre rubber sole. Design of the Chappals are semi-closed consisting of two wide strips crossing each other and joined with sole. Easily available in many colors, varieties and sizes for male, female and children.Peshawar offers an extensive market of leather product, particularly footwear. There are hundreds of small and medium enterprises offering employment to thousands of personnel involved in this delicate procedure of handmade shoes.
In the inner city of Peshawar, in close vicinity of QisaKhwani Bazar, there used to operate Bazari- Misgaran (Copper Market). In the near past, this bazars was occupied by dozens of shops dealing in hand made metal work and providing all utensils for house use as well as decoration. The bazar was so attractive and popular that it was visited by President Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy former First Lady of USA, Muhammad Ali Boxer and other famous dignitaries from around the world. Now a days only a couple of shops remain because of the invasion of cheap plastic and steel alternatives as well as raising prices of copper.
Pottery is a significant element of craft sector serving both utility and décor. It has been one of the oldest known artifact in human history. Widely used and cherished, the craft is still evident in many parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. There are small setups of this craft spread across the territory. However due to contemporary challenges – plastic, metal, and other elements -- particularly from the conventional industries, the craft is significantly shrunk and has been limited to very few areas.
Wax Painting is a unique art of making prints on clothes from tree wax. It is believed that this art has come through Silk Road and in one time Kabul is known to be its center. Currently very limited to few individuals, the art is very rich and attractive. Mostly carried on clothes, these pieces are used for decoration and attractions.
Jewelry has been an integral part of tradition, commonly shared in all civilizations. Here in ancient times the art of traditional jewelry making was carried using hands and simple tools. Dally was used by goldsmiths to shape gold to caste different designs and shapes. Dally is a Persian word, called as “Rehgar” in Pashto.Craftsmen are of the opinion that one cannot become master unless they learn how to design and make a Chargul. In the process of making Chargul, first gold nugget is melted and shaped into tiny wires. These wires are then cut into small pieces, granules, using scissors and are calledRawala. These granules are then shaped together using simple tools to make chargul.
The Khattak dance has a lot of formsi-e Shahdola, Bangra, Balballah, QamarBalbala, tamseelidana, charridana and individual performance. Holding swords in hands while dancing, it is not mere entertainment but a sense of celebrations, bravery and happiness through intense physical performance. This dance is widely known in the KP region and has become a permanent feature in many events.
Jhumer means swaying or ecstasy. Mainly performed on specific songs, it is a physically intense activity involving celebrations of excitement, joy, love and emotions. The most important factor of this dance is the dhol (Drum). Various specific songs are played through simple instruments.
The dance is particular performed on many occasions such as marriages, birthdays and other public gatherings. This dance is mainly cherished in Sariaki belt including DI Khan.
Traced to undivided india, however mainly rooted in the medieval periods of the fertile land of Punjab. This dance is mostly performed in HazaraDivison of KP. This activity involves intense physical movements with swords on the tunes of dhol (drum) and other traditional musical instruments.
Attan is a popular form of dance, originated in the Pashtun regions of North Western Pakistan and Eastern Afghanistan. Attan dance is an integral part of Pashtun society which is perofmred on happiness occasions particularly weddings. Many regions have their own type of Attan with a slight variations from others. Important elemetns of this dance includes professional crews of dhol (drum) and shpilay (flute).
Makha is the traditional game of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, played with a great joy mostly at district Swabi, Mardan and Buner. The game is not always about losing or winning but the tradition of hospitality.The game is played with a long arrow (ghashay) and a long bow (leenda). The arrow has a saucer shaped metallic plate (tubray) at its distal end. The archers play in teams and attempt to hit a small white wooden target called takai surrounded by a circular ring called kwaara. The target is secured in fresh clay placed at some height a few meters away from the archer.
Kabadi is traditional game of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Two teams compete, each occupying its own half of the court. They take turns sending a "raider" into the opposing team's half and earn points if the raider manages to touch opposing team members and return to the home half, all while taking only a single breath. If however the raider is tackled and prevented from returning, the opposing team earns the point.
Inherited from the ancesotrs, Langari is an ancient traditional game of district Swabi. It is mostly played in the evenings, after hard day work. The game can be played in two different ways, one as a board game, where the players have toreach the goal, the player who used to reach the goal first was considered to be the winner, howeverone have to go back to square one "Start" when passed by an event.Another way of playing Langari was to set a Goal points target, the player who achieved the target points was considered to be the winner. The game was usually played for recreational purposes in hujras, it is said that out of four players /groups the loosing player / group would use to prepare sweet dishes like "Halwa" for the winner orwinning group at the end of the game.
Mirghati is a traditional game played in KPK. This is a game for little girls. In this game round pebbles of stone which are five in number are taken and are played by four individual players turn by turn. One of the pebbles is tossed in the air and before coming to the ground the other pebbles are hastily collected in a hand and then the tossed pebble is caught with the same hand. If the catch is dropped, the turn ends. This game is played entirely by one hand. Now-a-day a tennis ball is also used in this game.
This is a game usually played by little girls. It goes by various names, for example in Swat it is called Sindakh. Variations of it are found in different parts of the country and even abroad. In Britain, the game is known as hop scotch. It is played by two teams each consisting of three or four members. Chindroo is the name of a diagram, similar to a parallelogram or rectangle, which is drawn on the floor with chalk or marked out in the ground with a stone or stick. Within the shape there are some seven or eight columns drawn on the floor, usually with chalk powder or limestone. A round “striker” made of baked clay or some other material is thrown turn by turn into columns, and then pushed with the foot to the other column. If the striker lands on a line it is a foul, and the player’s turn comes to an end.
Chapli Kabab is one of the most consumed local delicacy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is considered a specialty of Pashtun cuisine. The ingredients for the kebabs are simple and typicalas well as prepared by minced beef,some dry ground spices anddeep fried in animal’s fats to make it delicious, juicy meat patty. This cuisine is widely spread out throughout the province from Chitral to DI Khan. It is served with fresh naan, raita and salad.
Every city has its own specialty of sweets. Mardan is famous for a type of sweet called, BadayionPerras. Badayion is a district in Utrapradesh Province of India. The owners of Badayion sweets are basically Pashtun migrating from Badayion India at the time partition of India to Mardan since 1950 and since then have been operating in Mardan. The sweet is prepared by Khoya, Desi Ghee, sugar, and the recipe is considered a secret. Mardan is the center of BadayionPerahowever it’s also prepared in other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Painda/Sohbat means group of people sitting together. This type of dish is widely known in Southern parts of KP i-e DI Khan, Bannu, LakkiMarwat etc. the cuisine is prepared in chicken or beef meat with powdered spices. Special kind of roti is used for this traditional delicacy. This food is enjoyed on special occasions and is an integral part of hospitality in those regions.
Katawa is a famous traditional cuisine ofdistrict Swabi. Main ingredient of the food is meat cooked in a particular type of bowl. Bowl is specially made from terracotta to maintain traditional taste. This tradtiioanl delicacy is served on celebratory events such as weddings.
Hujra serves the purpose of a community center for men. The Hujra may belong to a village, a community or a family, depending on the size of the settlement and the local traditions. Hujra is considered a male place only and is perceived as social institutions. The place is used by community for all kind of gatherings whether decisions makings, celebrations, hospitality, etc. the place is also served as guest house for guests.
The Jirga is best summarized as a strategic exchange between two or more people to address an issue through verbal communication. The exchange may or may not result in an agreement on the issue, but the process itself leads the parties, including the interveners, to maintain a certain level of formal communication, thus ensuring peace.To a common person, a Jirga is a body comprised of local, elderly, and influential men in Pashtun communities who undertake dispute resolution, primarily through the process of arbitration. Compared to the judicial system of the present day governments, the Jirga ensures a fast and cheap justice to the people. Indigenous to Pukhtun tribal communities, the Jirga is alive even in the areas now influenced by an Anglo Saxon legal system and is used for interpersonal dispute resolution. In the tribal areas, the Jirga is the only vehicle through which the political administration dispenses justice.
Shandur is highest playground of polo sports. In the middle of the year, in this ground polo match is played between Chitral and Gilgit. Other features of this festival include folk performances, music, trout fishing, craft exhibitions etc. This festival is a must visit if you are traveling to Pakistan in the month of July.
Ashar is collective work based on volunteer work, that is, a task performed by a group of volunteers as support for a community member for example during harvesting, digging of agricultural water channels, house building etc. This is customary and places an obligation on all the community to help each other.
Mila Tar is practice of unity, particularly against an enemy. This involves support, both financial and physical, while facing a challenge.
Bundeez is kind of stay order. Where this is applied to stop a situation unless a decision is passed by Jirga (elders gatherings).
Tega is ceasefire between opponents. Mostly It is declared by Jirga (elders). This action is taken by a Jirga to avoid further conflict and bloodshed between two rival factions. Tega literally means stone and truce is symbolized with the placement of stone.